Warmest welcome! My name is Tricia Campbell and I am the Assistant Principal at the Boothbay Region Elementary School in Boothbay Harbor Maine. Previous to this position, I was a Special Education Teacher in the Wiscasset School System in Wiscasset, Maine for 18 years. I earned a B.A in Communications from Colby-Sawyer College in 1995 and a Masters in Education (Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Special Education) from Lesley University in 2002. I am currently enrolled in St. Joseph’s Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (C.A.G.S.) program for Educational Leadership.

I grew up one of six children in Norwood Massachusetts, went away to college in New Hampshire and then came to Boothbay Harbor, Maine for the summer after graduation. While summering in Boothbay Harbor I met a handsome, kind and hard-working local man (Jason) and the rest is our journey together.

Once I made the decision to move to Maine, I started to look at options for year-round employment. I was directed to consider working in a school system as an Educational Technician (teacher’s aid) while I figured out what I wanted to do.I interviewed and was offered a position in a special education, self-contained off-campus program for middle and high school students with behavior and emotional needs. This was the beginning of my adventures in education. As challenging as this new role was to me, I loved it! I loved working with students to identify their needs, the obstacles in their way and the steps they needed to be successful. I found I had skills at identifying needs, setting goals, outlining an approach and resources for reaching goals, and assessing success at every step. I worked as a member of a team and was surrounded by dedicated and talented professionals. During this time, I had teachers and administrators who saw something in me. They took the time to share their knowledge with me and encouraged me to follow a path into education.

While in Graduate School I transitioned to my first year as a classroom teacher in that very same special education program, under a conditional certification. I completed my degree and continued to teach there until the program was restructured and my position was moved into the Wiscasset Middle School special education resource room services. I began working with students in grades 5-8. I worked both in the special education resource room as well as co-taught in mainstream setting with regular education teachers. I loved this role! I enjoyed working with other teachers and sharing our knowledge and experience. While I was in this role, I was often called on to support administration and classroom teachers with student behavior needs because of my extensive background in this area.

I began to take on different leadership roles in the school. I was the Student Assistance Team (S.A.T) Facilitator, on the Teacher Leadership Team, and served on the District Steering Committee. I enjoyed working on a team with other professionals focused on goals and outcomes. I enjoyed sharing resources and having in-depth conversations with them. This teamwork was very educational to me and encouraged me to continue to learn and grow professionally. At this time the building principal recommended me for the position of Lead Teacher in the building, which gave me an administrative role while I continued to teach in the classroom.

It was during these years that I learned what it takes to be an effective teacher, supportive colleague and educational leader. It was also these years of experience and the encouragement of my coworkers that lead me to my new role and position. I live in Boothbay Harbor and my two daughters (Grace: 12 and Rose: 9) attend the Boothbay Region Elementary School. I love working so close to home in my community school! I am enjoying my role and am excited to continue to learn and grow with BRES.

The most important role and responsibilities of educational leaders includes not only to be strong managers and fair disciplinarians but also to be effective instructional leaders. I believe that it is imperative that an educational leader work toward creating and achieving an environment and collaborative culture in which all students can achieve to their fullest potential. “Principals shape the environment for teaching and learning. The most effective principals create learning communities where faculty and staff collaborate to help every student fulfill his or her potential” (Van Roekel, 2008, n.p.) I believe the purpose of educational leadership is to make a positive difference in the lives of all students by providing them with a supportive climate and culture in which to learn and grow.

Van Roekel, D. (2008). Changing role of school leadership. [NEA Policy brief]

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